Back to merry ol' England.
The Bengals have some pretty powerful weapons on offense: A J Green is beyond talented and there's depth there at tight end and on the ground; the thing is, the same can be said about Washington. The difference may be the solidity of the respective O lines - Dalton has been sacked 22 times and the Redskins have a serviceable pass rush. Similarly, that weakness can hobble the run.
On the other side, the Bengals are having problems stopping the run and while the Redskins backfield isn't exactly a well oiled machine, it is progressing and with the depth downfield, as long as Cousins doesn't drop too big a clanger (he's bound to make a couple of bad decisions, he always does) I give Washington the thinnest of edges.
[b]Pick: Redskins +3 @ 1.91[/b]
I've just traded for Blake Bortles in Fantasy, but I'm old and confused. He actually has great wideouts, but Bortles has a flaw in his game: he's crap. Jacksonville don't have much of a run game either, so it doesn't look great on offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars are a different team, so the Titans may find it difficult to totally dominate, even with a run game that has been something of a revelation, with DeMarco Murray running hard and catching nicely out of the backfield.
Has to be Tennessee.
[b]Pick: Titans -3.5 @ 2.05[/b]
If you haven't seen the Hawks Cardinals game - do it. Fantastic stuff.
Bruce Arians on Catanzaro: “Make it. He’s a professional. This ain’t high school. You get paid to make it.”
The matchup tonight has some nice subplots. Brock told John to show him the money; John said "nah" and Osweiler got the Texans to lay out north of $70m for his services - the boy's a genius! Meanwhile Gary Kubiak is back in town after his firing, facing DC Wade Phillips who has history with the Texans.
Brandon Marshall put it nicely "There's no ill will toward Brock. I am happy he got paid ... We want to kill him."
The Texans' O line is shaky and Denver will tee off on Osweiler, who I suspect is in for a rough night. At the same time, Houston's competent secondary has lost key players,...
Primetime, baby. This has the makings of a real arm wrestle on the park and will be an intriguing tactical matchup on the sidelines too. Take tomorrow off.
Seattle benefitted from a horrible no call last week and if it weren't for Russell Wilson's multiple injuries I'd be tempted, but even given Carson Palmer's struggles, the Cardinals bring so much to the party on offense that I'll take them to shade it in the desert.
[b]Pick: Cardinals -1 @ 1.98[/b]
Pittsburgh have a handful of sacks on the season and Big Ben is out with a shoulder boo boo. The Steelers will need to run it all day, if only to keep Brady off the park, but unless Le'Veon Bell finally shows up and the visitors' secondary have a blinder, it's difficult to see the Pats not beating the Steelers by at least a touchdown and change.
[b]Pick: Patriots -7 @ 2.04[/b]
The Bills are looking good and running the ball succesfully, which is bad news for the fins who struggle to defend the run and lost Reshad Jones last week. Even with shady's hammy grumbling, Mike Gillislee looked solid in replacement and if he gets all the touches in this run heavy offense he'll still find room.
Buffalo have looked tough and well organised on defense, with teams finding it tough to score on them; they've also started racking up sacks which bodes ill for any team fielding Ryan Tannehill.
Divisional matchups always have certain craziness to them, but I like the Bills giving less than a field goal.
[b]Pick: Bills -2.5 @ 1.96[/b]
The Giants' offensive line stank anyway and now they're missing personnel, which is a shame, because OBJ is finally breaking open games. It also means that the ground attack is limited (LA are awful defending the run) and Eli Manning is going to have be on his game. The Rams aren't bad against the pass, but Beckham can beat any cover, provided he has the ball!
New York's defense will need to bottle up Todd Gurley, who has flattered to deceive so far, as the secondary should be able to handle whatever Case Keenum throws their way under pressure from a decent pass rush.
It's a helluva long way from the west coast and as long as Eli can get the ball out and limit the turnovers, the G-Men should take this. It could be tight, so don't go mad.
[b]Pick: Giants -2.5 @ 1.92[/b]
Hoyer throws the ball. A lot. Green Bay are mighty thin at the corners, so it will be tempting to try and get Alshon Jeffrey and his buddies rolling in the deep, however the Cowboys gave the Packers fits on the ground - Jordan Howard stepping up would help.
Aaron Rodgers looks a pale shadow of the gunslinging destroyer of old, but if he needs a 'get better' defense, the Bears have it. They're also struggling with injuries in the secondary and if Rodgers finds his rhythm at last the traditional Thursday night blow out might just happen.
These are two teams in horrible form and it's not worth risking your hard earned. Green Bay should win, but spotting the Bears 7.5 may be a half point too much.
Have a cheeky bet on Cameron Meredith to score to relieve the boredom waiting for the...
Getting a snootful of points on a Monday night is always tempting, seriously.
The Cardinals would ordinarily lean on Johnson who has had some massive games, but the Jets are tough on the ground and can be beaten deep. With Regis injured/out/on the wane, I actually think the passing game is the way to go - pity I'm not a head coach.
Fitzpatrick likes to break up the monotony of game time by lobbing the ball to the opposition to see how they get on, or simply dropping the pill, and with Decker out, even more falls on Marshall's shoulders. Putting my HC pinwheel hat on again, they'd be better off pounding the rock with the Cardinals ranking 27th ypg against the run.
But what the hell do I know?
[b]Pick: Cardinals -7 @ 1.91[/b]